Talk: Artist Laura Anderson Barbata on Social Justice and Artistic Practice: The Story of Julia Pastrana

1 pm | Sun, February 3, 2019
Brown Auditorium

In this special talk, Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata discusses her decade-long journey to repatriate the body of Julia Pastrana (1834–1860) to Mexico. A gifted singer and dancer, Julia Pastrana was born in Sinaloa, Mexico, with an unusually pronounced jaw and thick hair throughout her face and body. Her husband/manager exhibited her throughout Europe and the United States as “The Bear Woman—Half Human, Half Beast.” After her death, her embalmed body continued to be exhibited for more than a century, eventually disappearing from public view into the Schreiner Collection in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Oslo. Anderson Barbata succeeded in having it repatriated to Mexico in 2013. Pastrana’s story highlights deeply relevant human issues related to race and science, the fascination and exploitation of so-called “others,” indigenous rights, memory, and the importance of cultural sensitivity.

The event is organized by the Latin American Art department as part of its Annual Lecture Series.

LACMA | Brown Auditorium
Free, tickets required
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Image: Julia y Laura (detail), 2013 from the series: Julia Pastrana, Authour: Laura Anderson Barbata, Ed. 5

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